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Video card cooling

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I thought I had this pinpointed down to thermal paste, but that is not so.

My EVGA GT430 started overheating a few weeks ago. Out of no where one saturday night it just crashed the computer. I ran their diagnostic and saw temperatures were up around 100c.

First I tried adding some more thermal paste to it, and that seemed to work for a while, but now it is crashing a bit more.

What can I do to help cool it? My system ambient temperatures seem to be fine. I have a pci slot exhaust fan I stuck right below it hoping to suck away some heat, but that didnt help. Opening the top of my case and blowing a small house fan on it immediately cools it 10-15 degrees.

I thought perhaps the card was just going bad and I swapped in a PNY 8800 GT. It too was running around 90c after watching Iron Man 2 last night (gotta get ready for the Avengers) and the fan on it sounded like a movie projector - clicking at a constant rate.

Any cooling ideas, or what should I look for in a new card? Nvidia preferred just because I have much more experience with them.
post #2 of 11
Is the case an HTPC/SFF case, or is it a standard desktop case in a vertical placement?
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
it is the apevia xmaster, laying flat on the top of a small shelf

post #4 of 11
Thermal paste doesn't work better the more you apply. Only use as much as necessary to fill in any air gaps and microscopic cracks and crevices between the two mating surfaces. Thinner is better.

Also I presume that you have checked the heat sink for dust and dirt. Did you check the underside and edges of the fan? The leading edge often will accumulate a build up that can greatly affect the air flow volume.
post #5 of 11
cdru is right on the thermal paste. You'd be better off scraping as much as you can off and then reapplying new paste in a very thin layer. By just adding more paste you've actually created an insulating layer than will retain heat.

However, your problem is probably also do to case airflow issues given that you had heat issues with a different vid card. Check the following:

1. Are all the fans (vid card, CPU, PSU, case fans) working?
2. Do you have an intake and an exhaust case fan?
3. Is there anything external blocking the case fans?
post #6 of 11
Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

it is the apevia xmaster, laying flat on the top of a small shelf

We need a better description of this "shelf".
post #7 of 11
How long had this system been assembled in this configuration before you noticed the temperatures spiking? Have any other components been added (extra HD maybe)? Switching video cards may have replicated the problem, depending on the heat generation of both cards. You may want to make sure the output fan for the case is operating correctly, because if that failed, the fan on the video cards would circulate a little air around the card, but not have enough strength to vent the hot air from the case, and the cards may be the most sensitive to the temperature extremes.
post #8 of 11
I always use the EVGA Precision X software to control my video card (GTX 470). You can set custom fan profiles through the program to maintain your desired video card temperature. I'm able to drop the temps significantly using this method, and never start my computer without the custom fan profile running. You can also change your card speed and voltages, which can potentially help lower temps and power consumption (there's an article on Tom's Hardware discussing the efficacy of running video cards at lower voltages, you should read that if you're interested in using lower voltages/speeds).

EDIT: The other popular program for controlling video cards is MSI Afterburner. Precision and Afterburner have pretty much identical features. I've used both, but am currently using Precision mainly due to personal preference.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
I thought by rearranging my exhaust fan that I had this issue figured out, but it came back last weekend. It going away coincided with the Pittsburgh Penguins season ending, and most of their games were broadcast on NBC/NBC Sports (1080i channels).

I don't watch much broadcast tv but I was on Saturday. And then it dawned on me, 1080i video causes this. It happens on all the NBC Networks and also on CBS. Nothing but 1080i mpeg2 causes this. 1080i h264 (from bluray) does not

If I had to trace when this started, it was when I updated Shark007 codecs for the first time in over a year. The previous installation I had did not include the LAV splitter. Is there anything that could be interacting between the codecs and the NVidia control panel that would whack the GPU out?
post #10 of 11
1080i deinterlacing is the most stressful video playback format for the gfx card.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
i honestly think the card just began going bad. seems to still be under warranty so perhaps ill try that route.

i swapped it out for my pny geforce 8600 gt. ive been watching the kings devils game on nbc (1080i) and my temps arent above 60c or so
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